PRT201 – Scrapbooking Uni

This week we’re talking about scrapbooking the university experience!

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  • Bethany Rielage

    I had to pause the podcast to thank you for reading my comment! I’m one of those crazy obsessed listeners/members that hits the refresh button regularly, waiting for the next podcast and/or member video. I discovered Paperclipping almost exactly one year ago, and I can’t believe how much it has influenced my scrapbooking. I have listened to all the past PRT episodes, and I’m still working my way through all the member videos. I discovered BPC and Project Life through your podcast and CHA videos, and I’m now addicted to both! You both truly make a difference with what you do, and I hope you keep it up for many years to come! (By the way, my last name is pronounced “Ree-lag.” And don’t worry, Izzy, nobody gets it right!)

  • Betsy

    Great topic! Scrapbooking is not all about babies! I still wholeheartedly believe this in spite of the fact that I have a highly photogenic son. Ha!

    I wanted to comment on how I keep my “party layouts” discreet. I am a proud Wisconsinite so you can be sure I have plenty of these pages (stereotypes exist for a reason-our early twenties are specifically reserved for festivals and beer). These layouts are by no means scandalous, but that doesn’t mean I want them mixed with photos from family holidays and children’s birthday parties. That was a long time ago and the focus of my albums have shifted. I have one album full of stories from various camping trips, obscure small-town festivals, and random Tuesday nights. This album lives in the “archives” in my scrapbook room while the rest are on display in the common areas of my home.

    Also, to everyone who had a “traditional” college experience, cherish it! I was one of the students mentioned that lived at home, worked too much, and was only on campus during class time hours. The only stories I have to tell that took place during the school year involve the woes of commuter parking and scheduling your classes so there were no gaps of wasted time in between. Woe. Is. Me. ;)

  • Robin Gale Conlin

    I just finished my college years scrapbook, so this topic is fresh in my mind. I went to school from 1991-1995, so I only had photos that were from a film camera and had been stored in an “old” style album.
    I want to share the process I followed:
    I took all the photos out and sorted them, by year (as best as I could). Luckily, I was in a sorority and most of my pictures were from events with dates on them. Then I decided to go with the pocket page method. I put the photos in pockets. But, there are just not many 3×4 cards that apply to college. So I made my own. I visited my sorority and university’s Facebook pages and website and downloaded graphics, logos and pictures and also got facts from Wikipedia. Then I used Photoshop and created a bunch of printables that I could slip into the pockets. The process was so fast. I haven’t done the journalling yet, but all the photos and cards are in the pockets waiting for the stories to be added. It was such a fun trip down memory lane.

  • Oh, I’m SO envious of people going to college/uni now, with phone cameras and digital everything and the internet… if only we’d had instagram and facebook back in 1993… being able to take as many pictures of nonsense things as we liked without it costing anything… sigh… What I wouldn’t do to have a Project Life of uni! Although I don’t know how I would actually feel about some things that were more private and tumultuous, or if I would have even recorded some of that drama. (Maybe the lack of evidence was somewhat deliberate!)
    I have very few photos from those years, and I didn’t keep diaries or planners. And because I moved overseas right after I finished I sometimes feel like I can’t even remember that much about those years. Apparently 1993 was a long time ago!
    Our NZ uni experience was very different anyway – school spirit wasn’t a thing, we had no college sports teams, no dorms (except for a few international students), not so many campus events of the kind American students talk about. And our uni was spread out across a very big city – we didn’t have a real sense of “campus” even. Most people just went to their local uni by default, and anyway, there were only 7 to choose from in the whole country at that time. And we didn’t have the history and ceremony of the British universities either – I loved hearing about Abi’s formal dinners! But maybe we had more things going on than I remember – we kiwis tend to devalue our own unique culture and experience.
    I am inspired to find what I can online, and write down what I do remember. I did some image searches while I was listening and already remembered things I would never have thought about recording – like the protests we were involved in against government/education reforms. I’m sure as I write I will be able to remember more.

  • Becca

    Thanks for another great episode! Although I went to college during the “film era” of photography (1988-1992), my friends and I took a lot of pictures, and I have scrapbooked many of them. This episode made me think I need to make a page about how we “shared” photos back in the day…drop off a roll of film at CVS, order double prints, keep one set, let friends fight over the duplicates, bring the negatives back to CVS and order additional copies of the best pictures to pass on to friends. This could be a months long process depending on how long it took to finish a roll of film!

  • Dawn N

    I used to listen and subscribe, and for some reason I went away for a while, but I am back and I forgot how much I love the shows!! I had to finally jump in and add my 2 cents, I feel like you forgot to mention us parents and how we are capturing our kids at school….(in case this was an oversight, here is my two cents (wink wink))…

    I have 2 kids in college now and I have been grabbing bits and pieces to scrap them….
    1. I pocket scrap weekly, so I can get bits and pieces of their life in this book, and I make a point to add something from one or both children each week. This could be a screenshot of an Instagram they posted, a snipppet of a text or phone conversation, (and my new trick) I will send them 7 questions that they need to immediately reply right back to…questions like: what are you reading now?, what are you watching right now?, what are you thinking about right now?, what did you have for dinner?, etc….(they know I scrap, so they play along very well).
    2. They both participate in sports so I save any articles about them or their teams from the school athletic websites.
    3. When I do visit, (even if I force myself upon them by bribing them with food….) that is when I capture photos of their room, apartment, roommates, and their campus.
    4. I use folders on my computer for my weekly photos, and then I have master folders for each kid for each year that holds the articles, screenshots, and photos… so I can create full 12×12 pages as well for each of their scrapbooks. (each kid has 2 right now, 1 for school & activities (sports) and a 2nd for “their life” – birthdays, vacations, friends, etc…)
    5. last tip – I heard that you can “slurp” up an instagram, facebook and/or twitter feed into a digi book. I have not done this but think it would be an awesome way to grab my kids feeds each year into a digi book of their own.
    Thanks for reading my long-winded comment :)

  • Cara Garvie Porter

    I loved this episode! (though I could say that about all of them!) I was so happy to hear from a real college-age scrapper as well as just talking about this topic in general – scrapping doesn’t all have to be about kids and families! I am 32 and married, but no kids, and I’ve been scrapping since 1995 (I was only 13!), so I was ready to scrap my way through college when I got there in 2000. No digital cameras here, either! Film developing day was the highlight of my month (or 3 months…)!

    I was so excited when someone mentioned going back and taking photos of their college campus and other places they spent time during those years because I actually created some ‘year in review’ pages during college with photos of all the random things and places that meant something to me and my roomies that year. I couldn’t believe I was ahead of the curve on something! (I attached a picture of one of them)

    Scrapping through college was really my way of discovering who I was as a scrapper and an artist and a couple of my pages from that time are among my all-time favorites because of the stories they tell and the memories they evoke, even though they don’t look ‘perfect’ or ‘professional’.

    Thank you for continuing to create unique, though-provoking episodes that make me think, make me smile, and make me want to create!

    Oh, and you inspired me to write a blog post about my college scrapping experience!

  • Welcome back. :)

    I did include you as a group (parents scrapbooking their kids’ college experience), but I didn’t have a guest who could cover that for us. So your 2 cents is appreciated!

  • Great show. I enjoyed hearing Abi, as I’m one of those she mentions that join in for virtual tea each month on her blog. It’s so nice to have the younger generation appreciating the art of memorykeeping and storytelling too.

  • Teri Hartman

    This show made me sad…:( (but don’t worry, I’m just having a pity party). I didn’t have a reliable camera until like the third year of my marriage, and so I have very few photos of those early years away from home, university, etc. It was such an interesting period in my life – I was a young, single mom going to school and I so wish I had more of a record of that time. It really “formed” who I am now and I wish I could have documented my growth. Thank goodness my parents took some photos for me!

    On that note, my son will be graduating from high school soon and I decided that I’m done scrapbooking for him once this school year is over. He has a few very full albums (doesn’t seem like a lot for an 18 year old, but again, no reliable camera) and I’m sure he won’t continue his own ;). I’d be interested to know when parents who make scrapbook albums for their children essentially “stop”. I mean, yes I will still take photos of him over the years as he grows into an adult, etc., but I won’t be making distinct albums for him anymore as he will be leaving the nest. I’m curious to know if there is a “cutoff”age that people have when they stop heavily scrapbooking about their children. A possible podcast topic?

  • Youngmi

    I haven’t even finished this episode yet but it’s going down as one of my favorites. I started scrapping in high school and carried on all through college. I did undergrad in 2001-2005 and back then, I had my giant brick of a non-digital camera that I lugged around everywhere. Our student union thankfully had a film developing drop-off that was pretty affordable so every couple of months, I would traipse over with my precious film and and order 4×6 in duplicate sets – one set to scrapbook and one set to save forever – because I was weird like that. All my scrapbooking supplies could fit into a small box and I scrapped on my bed. Because I was a poor college student, my scrapbook pages were all about “how many photos can I squash on to this page” and have minimal embellishments. My journaling was limited to who/what/where/when – must save room for more photos!! Even though these definitely are not the prettiest albums, they are my some of my favorites because I loved my college days. When friends visit, these are the albums they want to see! Now that I’m nearly 10 years out of college (eek.), my perspective on that period of my life has changed so much. There are so many stories I never thought to write about back when i first made the albums because they seemed like such everyday things that weren’t worth documenting. Um, i think i’ve just come to the realization that I want to re-scrap all of my college memories. Good thing I got all those duplicate sets… I’m not one to re-scrap photos, but I know that if I scrap my college photos now, the pages would be so different from the original pages. Not just in style but content. It would be like telling a whole new story.

    Thanks for an awesome episode as always!

  • Natalie (QSOgirl)

    First of all, I loved the many different perspectives and styles that were represented by the guests on this episode! And the different experiences, too. It was SO fun to listen to everyone’s stories.

    I thought I’d share how I made albums of my college years – maybe it’s a seed of solution for someone who has a whole bunch of stuff and feels kind of overwhelmed by it all.

    I started scrapbooking as a major hobby when I was in graduate school. (The
    story of how I started is for another time.) But throughout college,
    I’d saved all sorts of memorabilia– class schedules, dorm door
    nametags, ticket stubs, programs from concerts I was a part of, etc. I
    had a huge box! For a while after I started scrapbooking, I seriously
    considered making “traditional” 12×12 books about my college years (I
    took kind of a lot of photos; they were 35mm, at that point). But I
    already had the photos in those horrid cling photo albums, all diligently hand-captioned on the reverse of the prints. And I had other albums and layouts that I wanted to make.

    At some point along the way (I think it was when I got
    married, and my husband was moving all of his stuff into my place, and
    we were trying to consolidate), I realized that those big boxes of
    college (and even some high school) memorabilia were causing me a lot of
    scrapbook guilt. I realized I didn’t really want to spend the time to
    painstakingly document all those photos (it even seemed like redoing a
    lot of work). So I decided to release myself from the guilt and do a
    “quick-and-dirty” style of album. I left my photos in the three-ring
    cling albums (I will pause here for gasps of dismay. I know, it bothers
    me, too, but pocket pages didn’t really exist at that point, in a way
    that I could easily use them. Plus, I have all of my negatives stored away.). I started going through the boxes of real-life ephemera and
    sticking the memorabilia right into those albums. Some of it got stuck
    onto the cling pages near the relevant photos. Some of it — the least
    “valuable” items– got just plain three-hole-punched and inserted
    between the chronologically-appropriate cling pages. And some of it got
    thrown away. It took a little bit of time to do all of this, but not
    too much–certainly not as much as I would have spent making actual
    “archival” books.

    And in the end, I do have *scrapbooks*. Real ones. There are
    photos, stories, and *stuff* in the albums. They aren’t pretty (some of
    it is downright ugly, haha!) but it’s all there, all in order, and all
    together. Maybe someday I’ll transfer it to something more archival (pocket pages, or something), but for now, I am totally satisfied with my albums. The reason I wanted to leave this really long-winded comment
    was so that maybe someone else who is feeling overwhelmed can be
    reassured that a “quick” scrapbook is just as good, sometimes– the
    memories are there, preserved, and the guilt is gone.

    P.S. Now you have me wanting to write a whole blog post about these college albums! Maybe when I get a chance to photograph them, I will!

  • Kim L.

    My favorite story from this episode was the one Shimelle shared about falling down the steps. Last week I took my daughter, who is a junior in high school, on a campus tour where I went to college. It was my first time back on campus in over 20 years. When I spotted the building where I went to Chemistry classes, the first thing that came to mind (and that I shared with my daughter) was my long fall down the front steps during my freshman year. I wish now that I had taken a photo of the building – it would be a great story to scrap!

  • Michelle Y

    As a scrapbooker who is still in college/university, this episode was awesome!!! It was so great to hear from a fellow university student and scrapbooker, just to remind the world that we actually exist! haha. I really loved the point about how great it is to have social media in our lives. I have to admit, I never really thought about it that way, mostly because people are always emphasizing how social media makes a lot of things worse.. it’s nice to concentrate on the positive!
    I’ve actually scrapbooked pages specifically about my campus and my classes, and I’m so glad I have it down on paper. I truly feel like the opportunity to study at a university on a campus is a blessing so I want to make sure to record it! I love how Abi went around taking pictures of her apartment – I definitely have to do that. Moving into different apartments every year is definitely something that is truly a college student experience, so I want to be able to remember all the places that have been important to me :)
    As for separating school and other/social stuff… it’s really all the same to me. I mean, those things together are basically my whole life, so it never even occurred to me that they could be mutually exclusive. I can’t say I have weekly high teas to scrapbook like Abi, but I did recently do a page about a “Lobster Night” we had at my dining hall – definitely a treat for college students, haha. And I consider that just a normal event in my life, not a “school” event, even though it happened at a campus dining hall.
    Anyway, thanks for the awesome podcast as usual and for talking about this topic!! :)

  • Gwynn Asbury

    I’m back! Did ya miss me? I had an interesting thought about this now that I have scrapbooked through College and now through Graduate School, and also scrapbooking my dear hubby as he has started his college adventures beginning in Community College. One thought I had was that while one may look back 5, 10, 20 years in the future onto their college years and see them as important and totally different, while amidsts the college years, THAT IS YOUR LIFE! For many reasons, there are a ton of aspects about college life that I do not have any record of….. and this has become a careful consideration as I document my husband’s adventures in school. In graduate school I have found myself more inclined to document the things about school that you just don’t encounter in the real life, such as finals week and the utter lack of sleep you experience…… Or the growth that you don’t see and everyone else does. For example, I have been documenting how my husband’s ideas about the world have changed, how his political stances have changed based on the information and knowledge he has acquired. I have also scrapbooked about the unique opportunity he has had to experience the wonders of Dreaming about all the possibilities of life. Anyway, that’s my two cents, thanks for an awesome show as always!

  • Tami Morrison

    What’s super funny is that while I was listening to this show I was going through pics and came across the one I took last summer of the stairs at my jr. high school that I tripped on, on my first day there. I feel more validated for taking that pic now. hee hee

    Also, what’s up with dissing the tooth fairy as not real two episodes in a row? She’s totally real, obviously. Because I would NEVER be that unreliable. ;P

  • Gela

    Makes me sorry I was not a scrapbooker when I was in College. San Diego State has changed a lot since I graduated.

    By the way, I wanted to tell Izzy that Stampin’ Up has stollen his


  • Gela

    oops stolen His idea.

  • youngmi

    oh my gosh i just realized something! shimelle, you are the original uber! i think you guys have uber in london but really, your college side business is uber!

  • Ah ha ha!

  • Rina Abbott-Jard

    Seriously loved this topic. Thanks so much, the conversation was so inspiring I wrote a list of topics and stories that I can record in preparation of doing a scrapbook of Uni years! (we call it Uni in Australia too!) I really hope that even those who didn’t go through to tertiary education that could still apply all of the tips and hints to their other school years. Great panel too, they really stayed on topic and I love the diversity in accents too! If you get the chance it would be great to have a similar discussion on recoding baby memories (either your own childhood or your children’s), one on childhood, one on your home, and what people have documented about their careers or hobbies e.g. my husband has coached basketball for 19 years (he is only 36), and I have a scrapbook and collection of memorabilia but beyond that I would welcome some inspiration! Thanks again for the topic, I’ve listened to every show but this one really made me want to say a massive thank-you! PS Shimelle ROCKS!

  • Gabrielle McCann

    Such a great episode! Makes me want to dig out my photos and get scrappping. I went to the University of Sydney (Australia’s oldest university) and lived on campus. Where I lived was called “college”. We had formal dinner every Monday night. Abi’s comments brought back so many great memories. This is an episode I will be listening to again and again.
    And as a side note I just want to comment on how much I love how Noell runs each episode. Noell, you are such a great listener to your guests. You are able to listen and summarise people’s comments and still have the brain power to process what you want to add to the discussion as well. I am so impressed every time I listen to you.
    PS – non-schmo (spelling?!) for at least 4 years I think!

  • Great ideas for future episodes!

  • Thank you, Gabrielle! Thanks for the kind words and your long-time membership!! :)

  • Natalie (QSOgirl)

    Reading this comment reminded me of a falling-down story that I hadn’t thought of when listening to the podcast! When I was touring campus before I began college (it was after I’d been accepted but before I’d made a decision to attend the university), my mom tried to make a quick trip to the parking deck to feed the meter… On her way back, she decided to cut the corner and hop a low chain fence to catch up with our group. She ended up catching her foot and landing very, very hard on her elbow. I only found out when a strange college student showed up at the door of the room where I was sitting with other prospectives, asking for me by name. I thought, “how in the world does anyone know my name here already?!” and got up with some trepidation. You can imagine that the trepidation became a cold pit in my stomach when this stranger told me that my mom had been taken by ambulance to the hospital! I don’t remember many other details, but my dad and I met up with her there. Although she ended up having surgery on her elbow, it didn’t impact my decision to attend that university! I was very happy there, though every time I walked by that little chain fence, I remembered that visiting day!

  • Oh NO!